The Buffalo City Metro deputy mayor Princess Faku emerged uncontested in a race for Dr WB Rubusana regional chairperson during the weekend conference for the election of regional leaders.
Faku’s former ally East London businessman Lunga Nqam was the frontrunner for the position but declined nomination when he was called up despite being the only nominee that met the threshold of being nominated by eight or more branches.
Both Nqam and Faku are known allies of the Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane and both campaigned vigorously for the re-election of Mabuyane as the ANC Eastern Cape Provincial chairperson in the provincial conference early this month.
The duo were contesting on the same slate, with Nqam the regional chairman and Faku the deputy regional secretary. Still, it emerged that lobbyists preferred Faku to be the chairperson while leaving Nqam out in the cold.
Nqam was adamant that he was going to contest, citing being nominated by the majority of ANC regional branches but quit the race at the 11th hour, paving uncontested victory for Faku who had been sneaked behind his back the ANC lobbyists.
It is understood that Nqam decided against contesting to save the ANC from further divisions.
On his decision not to contest Nqam said: “After consultation with my core in the region and the province I decided not to stand so that the organisation can move forward so that there’s unity in the region and cohesion in leadership.”
Although he earlier said declining nomination would be a betrayal of branches, Nqam said he consulted with the branches that nominated him about his reasons to decline the nomination.
Mabuyane refused to be drawn to the standoff by his allies but said he believed they could find each other before the start of the conference.
The victorious slate strengthens Mabuyane campaign for a large Eastern Cape delegation in the ANC National Conference in December.